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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, December 2, 2003

DigiBarn walks down computing's memory lane

By Burt LUm

This, my friends, is going to appeal to the nerd in all of us. If you have a relationship with your personal computer that spans more than 10 years, the DigiBarn, www.digibarn.com, is a must visit.

Personal computer technology is rapidly changing. Sites like these give me pause to think about where it all started.

I remember back in 1980 interviewing at Apple Computer in the company's Apple IIe division.

Times have changed.

Visiting the DigiBarn is a walk down memory lane, one that will surely trigger a memory or two of your own computer recollections.

The DigiBarn is a computer museum that exists in a real barn, in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Northern California.

A 20-minute streaming video of the museum captures the devotion placed in creating this space.

Curator Bruce Damer has collected vintage personal computers of every imaginable make and model.

As he walked through the collection, I spotted an old Kaypro, my very first personal computer. It ran the old CP/M operating system and came with WordStar and Visicalc.

This museum doesn't look like you might think a technology museum would look.

The barn obviously gives it a rustic feel, but in addition, the focus of the museum is not only the computers on display but also the stories visitors have about these computers.

Co-founder Allan Lundell captures the variety of events that happen at the barn on video.

The collection also has an assortment of computer oddities like the 3Com Audrey, a kitchen computer, and the French Minitel. When you look back on it, the innovation is amazing, and equally amazing is what survives the marketplace.

The museum adds a personal touch with collections of T-shirts and memorabilia from the PC industry. There's even a feature on a computer in a Puma tennis shoe.

Back outside are pigs and a redwood forest. It's the perfect setting for a computer museum. But if you can't visit in real life, the Web site is just as entertaining. ;-)

Burt Lum is one click away at www.brouhaha.net.